Reasoning About Soft Constraints and Conditional Preferences: Complexity Results and Approximation Techniques

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Executive Summary

Many real life optimization problems contain both hard and soft constraints, as well as qualitative conditional preferences. However, there is no single formalism to specify all three kinds of information. The authors therefore propose a framework, based on both CP-nets and soft constraints, that handles both hard and soft constraints as well as conditional preferences efficiently and uniformly. They study the complexity of testing the consistency of preference statements, and show how soft constraints can faithfully approximate the semantics of conditional preference statements whilst improving the computational complexity.

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